MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Which is worse? Obesity or normal weight with a ‘beer belly?’

The answer from a Mayo Clinic study might surprise you.

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Doctors at the Mayo Clinic studied data from 12,000 patients and found that people who are of normal weight but have fat concentrated in their bellies have a higher risk of death than those who are obese.

“I think that’s the most remarkable finding of this analysis because it is common to see people with normal weight who don’t see themselves as at risk for heart attacks,” Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a Mayo cardiologist, said. “And they may not be motivated to exercise or follow a healthy diet.”

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He says stomach fat may be riskier because it’s associated with insulin resistance and other conditions.

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His recommendation? A better diet and exercises, like sit-ups.